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Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the company is testing monetization for the Horizon Worlds virtual reality spaces so creators can start earning money.
The company is beginning to test two new tools that will enable creators to experiment with different ways to monetize what they’re building in Horizon Worlds, which is part of Meta’s plans to build the metaverse, the universe of virtual worlds that are all interconnected, like in novels such as Snow Crash and Ready Player One.
And no, it’s not based on blockchain or non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which have run into a lot of criticism from some game developers and gamers.
Meta said it is launching this today as a test with a handful of creators to get their feedback. The company said these types of tools are steps toward long-term vision for the metaverse where creators can earn a living and people can purchase digital goods, services, and experiences.
Zuckerberg discussed the news in a conversation with Vidyuu Studios hosted by Horizon Worlds creator Alex Chandler. In their chat, Zuckerberg talked about the news, what the metaverse economy might look like in the future, and how they plan to start using these tools to make money in Horizon Worlds.
“If you imagine what some future metaverse [at] some point down the line [would look like], clearly the ability to sell virtual goods and take them with you from one world to another is going to be an important part of it. But first, there need to be things that people want to buy, to get that economy going,” Zuckerberg said. “So I think that sometimes the stuff that ends up working in these digital products ends up being a little bit different from what you’d expect from the physical world.”
He added, “It requires a lot of experimentation and creativity from the people who are building the worlds and building these experiences and all kinds of different things. But this will be a really iterative process in terms of building this. It’s not like we just put something out there, and we’re done. You know, we’ll see what you all build. And then we’ll see what resonates with the people using the worlds, and then we’ll build the next round of tools based on that and keep on improving it. And so that’s what I’m interested in, is just how quickly we can learn and iterate on this and keep on making it better.”
Meta said that the metaverse — by nature of its not being limited by physical space — will bring a new level of creativity and open up new opportunities for the next generation of creators and businesses to pursue their passions and create livelihoods. Creators and entrepreneurs will have more freedom to find a business model that works for them.
Meta is beginning to roll out a test with a handful of creators that will let them sell virtual items and effects within their worlds. For example, someone could make and sell attachable accessories for a fashion world or offer paid access to a new part of a world.
Purchasing items in Horizon Worlds is available to people 18+ in the US and Canada where Horizon Worlds is currently available. Creators selling items will see a Commerce tab and gizmo when they’re in Create mode that lets them create purchasable items.
In addition to introducing in-world purchases, Meta is beginning to test a Horizon Worlds Creator Bonus program for participants in the U.S.. These bonuses come in the form of goal-oriented monthly programs where the creators are paid out at the end of the month for their progress toward the goal. Creator bonuses are not subject to fees and will be paid to creators in full. For now, in this limited test, but over time Meta may evolve these goals, for example, to encourage creator to adopt new tools or features it rolls out.
Creators who are participating in any monetization programs, including in-world purchases and creator bonuses, are required to follow all of Meta’s policies for Horizon Worlds including the Conduct in VR Policy and Horizon Worlds Prohibited Content Policy in order to be eligible for earnings.
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